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Anti-Americanism in Europe: A Cultural Problem

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Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher(s): Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace

Author(s): Russell A. Berman

Topic: International relations (International relations)

Keywords: September 11, 2001; Regime change; American and European relations; Anti-Americanism

Type: Book


Since September 11, 2001, the attitudes of Europeans toward the United States have grown increasingly more negative. For many in Europe, the terrorist attack on New York City was seen as evidence of how American behavior elicits hostility--and how it would be up to Americans to repent and change their ways. Yet, as this book argues, the deep cultural roots of European anti-Americanism predate contemporary partisan concerns. In this revealing look at the deep divide that has emerged, Russell Berman explores the various dimensions of contemporary European anti-Americanism.

The author shows how, as the process of post-cold war European unification has progressed, anti-Americanism has proven a useful ideology for the definition of a new European identity. He examines this emerging identity and shows how it has led to a position hostile to any "regime change" by the United States--no matter how bad the regime may be. And he details the elements--some cultural, some simply irrational--of this disturbing movement and tells why it is likely to remain a feature of relations between the United States and Europe for the foreseeable future.

Anti-Americanism in Western Europe is not just a friendly disagreement, but a widening chasm. This book makes a major contribution to understanding this important ideological challenge.